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Home / Football / Why Sunil Chhetri didn’t celebrate wildly after hat-trick vs Chinese Taipei

Why Sunil Chhetri didn’t celebrate wildly after hat-trick vs Chinese Taipei

Sunil Chhetri netted his 59th international goal to bring up the hat-trick in the second half of the game vs Chinese Taipei in the Intercontinental Cup in Mumbai on Friday.

football Updated: Jun 02, 2018 10:23 IST
Sarthak Bal
Sarthak Bal
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
India's Sunil Chhetri celebrate after a goal against Chinese Taipei during the Intercontinental Cup football match in Mumbai, India, on June 1, 2018.
India's Sunil Chhetri celebrate after a goal against Chinese Taipei during the Intercontinental Cup football match in Mumbai, India, on June 1, 2018. (AP)

Indian captain Sunil Chhetri scored his third-career hat-trick in India’s 5-0 thumping of Chinese Taipei in the Intercontinental Cup but it did not invoke a wild celebration from India’s all time top scorer.

When asked what might bring about a fiery and more exuberant celebration, he said that while he does not take scoring for granted, he does not feel the need to “celebrate outrageously”.

The game at the Mumbai Football Arena, that also marked a 99th cap for Chhetri, who netted his 59th international goal to bring up the hat-trick in the second half, was followed by a humble celebration with his teammates and fans.

“A goal at the Asian Games, at the Asian Cup, a goal that might help us qualify against Bahrain are goals that might rouse a more wild celebration, Chhetri said. “I will jump and hug and shout and come and hug somebody.”

READ | Sunil Chhetri hits hat-trick, India sink Chinese Taipei 5-0 in Intercontinental Cup

“Many people have asked me this, and to say again, I am very happy when I score. I do not take it for granted. I am very fortunate to score so many goals for my club and country. I am very happy from the inside and it’s just that I don’t celebrate outrageously like Robin Singh.”

“Right now though, Udanta comes to my mind. I am very fond of him and he scored his first goal today so I went up and said “congratulations kid” and he said ‘58 to go’. So I take my goals very seriously and the day I score against Bahrain and we qualify, trust me, I will jump,” added the 33-year-old.

‘Not at role model stature’

When questioned on how he feels about the possibility of many young players across India and the world looking to him as a role model and as a source of inspiration, Chhetri said that he is not at the ‘stature’ so as to demand such adoration.

“I don’t look at my career as someone to follow because I busy worrying about my own stuff right now. I don’t think I am at that stature that people, especially from other countries would follow me. If they do, then I am obliged and privileged,” he said.

“We are talking like this because we won 5-0. If he had lost then you’ll would be abusing me, so I have this stuff to think about. Maybe in 20 years when I have retired we can think about this and how many people I have inspired or motivated.”

READ | FC Pune City appoint Marcos Paqueta as their head coach for ISL 2018-19

Indian forward Jeje Lalpekhlua set up Chhetri for his first two goals on Friday night, and also created at least two other decent chances for his captain.

Talking about their connection at the top, Chhetri said: “I think it comes from the fact that we have played many games together and the fact that he is supremely talented. He is very experienced, knowledgeable and works so hard on his game.”

“He is somebody who I respect a lot and is one of our best players. So it is not difficult to combine with him and I have done my best help him and he does the same,” he concluded.

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